Congratulations, you have successfully purchased your first home! While you’re likely breathing a sigh of relief, get ready for all the new responsibilities and situations that come with being a homeowner. Here are 6 things you can expect as a new homeowner.
1. Mail Solicitations are Something to Expect as a New Homeowner
One thing to expect as a new homeowner is a lot of mail. Much of it will be solicitations and junk mail. Some of it will be from other mortgage lenders, claiming that they can offer you a better interest rate. Other companies will also solicit your business by mailing you special offers. For the most part, this is junk mail that you can simply recycle.
2. Paper Work From Title and Escrow
If you see mailings that look like they’re from your lender or bank, don’t throw them away. They might be important documents from your escrow company. At closing, ask the escrow officer what communications you should expect to see from them in the future.
3. New Utility Bills
Before you closed on the home, you may have inquired about the cost of the utilities. After you move in, you may find that the bills are more than your previous home. Perhaps you have air conditioning now and didn’t have it in your old house. Ask about the utilities before closing, but know that they are only an estimate and not a guarantee.
4. Expect an Insurance Inspection As a New Homeowner
After closing, your homeowners insurance company may send someone by for a visual inspection. They are looking for safety issues that could hurt someone or compromise the property. The insurance company will contact you ahead of time to schedule an inspection.
5. Increase in Property Tax
The tax on your property is one payment that will fluctuate. The county appraiser will assess the value of your property and your taxes may change as a result. As your home gains value, the taxes on it will rise. Since these are usually combined with your monthly mortgage payment, you may find yourself paying more or less per month over time.
6. A New Lender
After closing, your lender may sell your loan. Banks can bundle together home loans and sell them. The two largest purchases of mortgages are made by the government agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
These agencies were created to buy mortgage loans from banks and other financial institutions so that they can offer to finance more homebuyers. If your bank had to carry all the loans it originated, it would eventually run out of money.
Freddie and Fannie make it possible for credit unions and banks to continue to originate loans. If you are in a fixed-rate mortgage, the conditions of your loan must always remain the same, but who gets the payment might change over the course of the loan.
When you get a notice that your mortgage lender will be changing, call your original lender to confirm its authenticity, and then make arrangements to send your monthly payment to the new owner.